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Mining biotechnology for value recovery and environmental sustainability

September 19 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Mining biotechnology provides sustainable alternatives to traditional mining methods for extracting value from low grade ores and wastes. Moreover, biotechnology can be harnessed to treat (bio)hydrometallurgical and mine waters and decrease the environmental footprint of mining operations. This presentation will give an overview of CSIRO activities in bioleaching and bio-oxidation of low-grade ores, mine wastes and post-consumer wastes such as batteries and electronic wastes. Moreover, studies on removing inorganic and organic contaminants and recovering value from metallurgical effluents will be discussed.

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Anna Kaksonen has about 20 years’ experience in various aspects of biomining, from bio-oxidising and bioleaching low-grade ores to treating waste streams and recovering resources. During her Doctor of Technology degree, she developed fluidized bed reactor processes for biotechnical mine water treatment at Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in Finland. As a Senior Researcher at TUT, she also contributed to the development of heap bioleaching for complex low-grade black schist ores, bioprocesses for excess iron and sulfate removal from barren leach liquors and metal recovery from various metallurgical wastes. In 2009 Anna joined Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia as a Team Leader of Environmental and Industrial Biotechnology. In 2017 she was appointed as Group Leader for Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology. Anna has delivered projects to a number of companies on base metal and precious metal biomining, as well as biotechnical removal of organic and inorganic impurities from hydrometallurgical process waters. She has also been active in urban mining, developing bioprocesses for the extraction of metals from electronic wastes.